Designing For Survival In The Philippines

Designing For Survival In The Philippines

Design Against the Elements is a global call-to-arms competition for architects to disaster-proof the world's most vulnerable communities against climate change.

Jason Tan
  • 8 march 2010

The Philippines is prime geographic real estate for natural disasters. The country is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which means it will always be bracing for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It’s also in a tropical region which means that it will always bear a disproportionate amount of damage from typhoons that are intensifying in magnitude over time because of climate change – a phenomenon that it has contributed little to relative to other countries.

Widespread poverty and dysfunctional urban planning compound the problem. An estimated 44% of the population are squatting in make-shift homes built from detritus and scrap metal. It’s no surprise then that the Philippines is perennially among the top ten countries that suffer the most loss of life and property damage from natural disasters.

Two years ago, The United Architects of the Philippines headed a global design competition for sustainable, natural disaster-resistant schools (schools serve as primary typhoon shelters for low-income communities). The winning design, a bamboo school by Eleena Jamil of Malaysia (pictured above), was completely built earlier this year and will serve as a template for school designs in similarly vulnerable countries. Just as innovative as the architecture was the economic ecosystem. Farmers built the school in exchange for payment from the government as well as special consideration for their children’s admission.

This year, the same group of organizers in partnership with local non-profit housing builders, Gawad Kalinga, and the Asian Development Bank are raising the stakes. They recently launched Design Against the Elements, a global competition to design an entirely sustainable disaster-proof community in Taguig, the fastest growing city in the Philippines. First prize is US$10,000 and second prize is US$7,500. Additional cash will also be awarded for energy efficiency and green design.

Design submissions are planned to be open sourced to local and foreign governments who need them.


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Syndicated Today

Artificial Intelligence Could Serve As A Judge In The Court Of The Future

A new software program can weigh up legal evidence and more questions of right and wrong to predict the outcome of trials

Brand Development Yesterday

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections


Get PSFK's Related Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Arts & Culture Yesterday

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year

Retail Yesterday

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Yesterday

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Travel Yesterday

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Yesterday

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Food Yesterday

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology

Work Yesterday

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

Advertising Yesterday

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Yesterday

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Yesterday

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Yesterday

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Yesterday

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Yesterday

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

No search results found.